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I'm having some problems staying motivated to do art lately. It seems like i'm getting a little too stressed out about not having the skills necessary to create art the way i see it in my head. It seems like everyone around me is telling me i'm wasting my time to. It probably doesn't help that i'm 25 and not even close to having the necessary skills to get paid for my art.

the quick question is this: What do you guys do when you start to lose motivation? What do you do when you get the dreded "nothing i'm doing is good enough" mentality?


  • Reverenddevil
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    Reverenddevil polycounter lvl 9
    Maybe try and start doing smaller stuff. Get the confidence in nailing down how to draw that cube in persepctive, or in 3d nail modeling, uving and texturing that simple trash can or fire hydrant etc. Get your confidence in getting stuff done and slowly move forward. Dont try and paint the Mona Lisa or model that 10 million poly character. Work out the small stuff and progress first. Try to enjoy the process and dont feel like you need it to hit all at once. It comes in phases and steps. Good luck.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz sublime tool
    well your work is far from bad , so perhaps take a break and come back to it.

    most artists doubt what they do at times, goes with the territory.

    FYI I started doing games art at 27 and I don't feel I have achieved much at 40 :)

    I ain't giving up though

    Another approach is to look at the areas you are not happy with then research the hell out of those techniques on google .

    Even simple tutorials seem to motivate me sometimes, because they force me to look closer at my own work to compare.
  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 16
    Dude you can model and animate fine from the last time I saw your work. So just work on your texturing skills a bit. I found the best way to get good at things is to do something you like and think you can do in your sleep. You work you did on your last entry looked fine, I'm not sure why you didn't finish it. Also try and surround yourself with people that are supportive.
  • Armanguy
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    Armanguy polycounter lvl 12
    man_o_mule wrote: »
    I'm having some problems staying motivated to do art lately. It seems like i'm getting a little too stressed out about not having the skills necessary to create art the way i see it in my head. It seems like everyone around me is telling me i'm wasting my time to. It probably doesn't help that i'm 25 and not even close to having the necessary skills to get paid for my art.

    the quick question is this: What do you guys do when you start to lose motivation? What do you do when you get the dreded "nothing i'm doing is good enough" mentality?

    dude i feel your pain, i also have people in my life that don't support me at all what i do is shut them out and work harder to show them who's wrong just take a break and clear your head and get back to your art in a few days time :)
  • EvilPixills
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    EvilPixills polygon
    Don't give up man. Try pushing yourself to look at other peoples work everyday, whether it be here or on other forums. Usually the main source of motivation for me is getting the inspiration from looking at other peoples work. That and the fact that there are bills that need to be paid lol.

    Don't stress, like what the previous guys said, take a break and then come back and hit it hard.
  • Farfarer
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    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    I'm in a similar position at the moment. I've been trying to get good at digital painting (as opposed to just modeling/texturing) and it's going... horribly. I've been spending about 2 hours a night every night for the 2 weeks practicing and improvement has been slower than continental drift. It's frustrating enough that I even get angry at myself for not being able to do it.

    At that point, I'll go and do something different. Stuff like read a book, practice on guitar, work on something unrelated (scripting or sculpting or animating) or even just go brew a cup of tea... but I'll try and keep ticking over in the back of my mind what's not working right. Then I'll go back and work on it when I've calmed down.

    I'm just taking the approach that if I do enough of it, eventually it'll fall into place.

    Also, I'd ignore the people who are telling you it's a waste of time. Focus on the people supporting you and on the people you aspire to.

    I also have no idea if this is of any use to you :P
  • Vito
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    Vito polycounter lvl 13
    Don't put so much pressure on yourself. I'm older than you, and I started my first art class at the city college a few weeks ago, after my self-study motivation faltered. I know it'll be a long time before I'm able to draw what's in my head, but at some point motivation turned from passion to patience. I have no doubt I'll get there one day, and that's enough for now. There's no rush.
  • [MILES]
    "Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up...just go on." - Blue's Clues
  • timwiese
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    timwiese polycounter lvl 9
    "Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up...just go on." - Blue's Clues
    oh man this quote had me laughing my ass off. everyone was so serious and then you throw in a quote from blues clues. priceless.

    I feel in the same situation lately. For me though its just too much work for me at the moment with all my classes making a character for one and a short film in the other and working on the unearthly challenge. I think I am just going in too many directions at once and I can't really focus on making anything really good.
    I always find its best for me to concentrate on working on something small this way in about 2 days you can feel you accomplished something. Just finishing something is always the biggest motivation for me to do more and improve myself.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 13
    I'm there with you man. I'm living on my own, don't have a job. Funds are running out. No one is hiring me full time. I'm about to try and get a job at a restaraunt to pay the bills. I dont have the motivation to work. I feel isolated and unhappy and can't bring myself to create anything.

    but things will get better.
  • man_o_mule
    thanks a ton for the replies. It's been really stressfull the last few weeks. Been having problems concentrating on work because i hate my job and my mind starts to drift. My girlfriend and I have been fighting allot lately and doing art was a bit of a stress relief untill this last week. Just took it slow tonight and didn't do art. went and watched a movie and just hung out. feeling quite a bit better after reading your replies. Guess i better get back and practice, practice, practice.

    Reverenddevil: good idea. I'm definatly going to do some smaller stuff. I did try modeling a crate the other day.....had no problem with the model but man do i suck at texturing. I think this is where the frustration started. spent like 5 hours trying to paint a wood texture and still didn't get anything working.

    Ruz: not sure which work your referring too, most of it's just ok imo. I think i'm going to have to do some texturing tutorials for sure. That's definatly my weekest point....well that and trying to draw concept art, blech.

    Sage: Yeah, i would say i'm decent at modeling and animating is much easier to me than most other things. I don't think i can seriously persue animation as a carrear choice though untill i can actually draw decently. And i never did finish my mod facade challenge because i got to the point where i was supposed to texture it...and i didn't know where to start, that and i had to move in the middle of it. Been thinking about going back and trying to finish this, but the idea of texturing it kinda scares me. Not sure how i'm going to get through the frustration. Probably just going to have to take it slow.

    Talon: Thanks for the encouragement. Especially from you. Love the stuff i've seen of yours on these boards.....didn't you just get a job? or am i thinking of someone else? It's encouraging to know that even those who know what they are doing still get frustrated from time to time.

    Vito: thanks. I've been wanting to take some classes lately. I did take a life drawing course last year but i had to keep working my 40+ hour a week job while i did it. Was working 6 days a week (2 half days because the only offered the class on weekdays in the morning) and after a month i couldn't handle it anymore. Had to drop the class. Didn't help that it was a 45 min drive on the freeway to get to the class.

    Miles: Thanks......

    timwiese: I should take your advice. I really havn't finished anything in a long time. Need to get on that.

    aesir: Sorry to hear that times are tough for you too. I'm stuck living with my parents while my girlfriend lives with hers. Had to move out at the end of July cause we ran out of money. Stuff keeps coming up and making it so we can't move back in together either. But things will get better...cause they can't get much worse.
  • J Randall
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    J Randall polycounter lvl 13
    Don't give up mule, my motivation is change the music I am listening to try positive stuff or audio books, you don't suck at art, maybe try a different medium or do non low poly give that a go, eventually tech will catch up with higher polycounts.

    Talons got the right approach 2 hours a day every day, your not going to get better in a week, Leonardo wasn't born a genius, it took him awhile.
  • Rens
    "I feel isolated and unhappy and can't bring myself to create anything."
    i've been having this problem for years,

    what helps is just to let it be for a week and get back to it.
    you will always get back to it, at least i cannot let it go, art has a hold of me.

    eventhough i get easely frustrated by it, somehow i keep going and everything repeats itself.

    dont care about people too much,
    ive spoken alot of them and everytime you mention your an artist/wanna be an artist, they look at you like you have no future, and just lose interrest right away.
  • maltuna
    Hey Mule, we have all been there at some point. I wouldn't give up on it though. Have you tried getting away from the computer for a while? Maybe take a break for a couple days and do some other activities, then come back with a clear mind. Also instead of modeling a crate or something generic, find something that really interests you. Something that you would really like to work on... look at your favorite game and pick an asset or environment from there. It always helps when your doing something that really interests you.
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer interpolator
    Disconnect is sometimes the best key, is what i do and i can say it helps a lot.

    Computers are not a good thing, too many hours working on the same thing is not very good. Mental fatigue--> no motivation (sadness)--> procrastinating

    Recharge yourself! :D and don't stay too much hours with a computer. Step by step.
  • snake85027
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    snake85027 polycounter lvl 15
    just wanted to say the gallery work on www.zbrushcentral.com usually pumps me up to want to get better at art. Or even play one of your favorite games. I play games like gears of war and dark sector or even deus ex to remind me why I want to make art for games in the first place.
    I heard the average age is 31 in the game industry so I wouldn't let age stop you. Anyway good luck!
  • greenj2
    Sorry to hear you've been in a bit of a slump, man. Like a few people have already said, it happens to us all some time.

    I'm not sure if I speak for anyone else here, but I think some of the times I've been the most motivated in my personal projects was when my professional work-life downright sucked. I'd absorb all sorts of negativity during the work day, come home and use that to light a fire under my ass for working on my own stuff. Mainly in the interest of sharpening my skills, but also having some good folio material to possibly find a better job. I find my motivation tends to wane the most when things at work are going fine. Maybe that's just me... :P

    What I'm suggesting is, if you can, try to harness that negative energy in other areas of your life and put it towards something productive. Or even if you're not powering away to improve your work, art can be really cathartic when you're feeling shitty and it's a much better outlet for frustration that kicking your dog. I find it pretty relaxing sometimes to have some shitty movie I've seen a million times playing on one monitor and just doodle away in Photoshop in the other for a few hours. Sometimes some decent work even comes of it too.

    That's my rant on the subject, hope some of it was useful to you dude. :)

    Also, this just rocks...
  • System
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    System admin
    I'm 22 and just out of College and I've found having the security blanket removed to be the best motivater yet.
  • sir-knight
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    sir-knight polycounter lvl 10
    I got thrown into the deep end right off the getgo in college... as an artist I trailed behind my classmates by FAR. They've had pencils in hand since they could hold them, and me who decided to try for 3d animation a year and a half before applying into college and never having drawn seriously before in my life.

    It was scary to say the least and it almost drove me to the edge, knowing that my parents disapproved of the choice and took every opportunity to remind me of that, and even as to go so far as to claiming I had no talent. So I had a lot of pressure on me to 'git r done' added to what I put on myself.

    I got lucky after that, got hired out of school (repeating 2nd year for a 3rd year of the program) a studio came looking mid year and were behind... only 10 guys applied cause the rest figured they wanted to finish school first. I was one of the 6 that were hired from school, and the rest is a colorful and tumultuous history with that studio, and now I'm at a small startup game studio.

    Nothing works better as a motivator than fear of not being able to put food on the table or a roof over your head. When you decide to go for it, you need to commit and go for broke cause halfassed won't ever be enough and you'll never be satisfied with yourself afterwards.
  • Mark Dygert
    I'd find a nice cushy job that affords you plenty of free time (either on or off the clock) and use that time to train up. Even if you can't work on 3D, having down time to work on your 2D will greatly help your 3D.

    You need to stop comparing yourself to other artists and compare what you did today, with what you did yesterday. You're probably progressing but when you use a yard stick instead of a ruler the changes aren't that noticeable.

    You'll find much more success in the day to day struggles if you set realistic goals for yourself. I don't think any artist worth admiring has gotten where they where without studying and working on their skill.
  • Target_Renegade
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    Target_Renegade polycounter lvl 11
    The "nothing i'm doing is good enough" rut is hard to get out of sometimes, unless you use logic as your friend and think: everything I'm doing now is going towards something greater. As the saying goes Rome wasn't built in a day. That said you can't always be focused or inspired 24/7, which means other activities have to break up the routine. Peaks and troughs. Forcing yourself to practice, work and thinking "this will be great now" frustrates more than it helps speaking for myself.

    Edit: WhiteEagle's link summed it up for me.
  • carlo_c
    Everyone has times like this, I've had a summer where I haven't pushed myself as hard as I should have done with my art and I feel I've learnt a lot of theory stuff but need to put it into practice which is always the hard part.

    When I start to lose motivation, I try to find some inspiration but thats always harder than it sounds. While I'm looking for that jump start to get me really back in the mood, I just make myself content with smaller things like thumbnailing ideas in my head and other smaller and easier to finish projects. A night out with friends always helps when I have things on my mind other than my art lol.

    I hope everything works out for you, with your art and non-art related things :)
  • dejawolf
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    dejawolf polycounter lvl 11
    start going to the gym, get laid. everything else comes after that.
  • man_o_mule
    Thanks for all the encouraging posts. Definatly feeling much better today. For some reason got in a really really good mood today. Plus my scanner started working again. updating my sketchbook thread here once i get all my pics uploaded (link for those too lazy to manually browse over there:http://boards.polycount.net/showthread.php?t=55467

    Gonna try and reply to all of you since i appreciate what you have said so much.

    J Randall: I'll try listening to some more upbeat music. See if it helps.

    Rens: Thanks.

    Maltuna: I'll look for something that i really want to do. Should be more fun than that damn crate.

    Blaizer: Yeah i need to get away from the computer more often. I spend all day sitting and staring at a screen then come home and expect myself to sit infront of the computer some more and do art.....and i usually can't.

    Snake85027: Zbrush stuff usually blows my mind away. I would do some zbrush stuff but i think i'd rather learn how to nail proportions and shapes on paper before i try to tackle it in zbrush.

    White Eagle: Yeah, i love it when i can just get in the zone and do art without thinking too much. The problem is that i'm trying to concentrate on doing something better than last time so i dont end up in that state of mind too much lately. Also that comic was ace.

    Jackwhat: Jumping out and trying to apply for a job would just seem silly to me at this stage, but i understand what your saying. right now i feel like i might be able to make it in this industry, just gotta keep motivated and practicing.

    sir-knight: "When you decide to go for it, you need to commit and go for broke cause halfassed won't ever be enough and you'll never be satisfied with yourself afterwards." great quote. I love it.

    Vig: Yeah i really do need to stop comparing myself to other artists. It's the only real measuring tool i have right now. I think i just need to do more work and stop trying to make sure i'm getting better. If i just keep at it i have to get better right? I'm going to try and not look back and compare for a few months.

    Target_Renegade: I definatly need to do some other activities to break up the art. Definatly thinking of doing more exercising and going jogging regularly. That always seems to make me feel better and give me more energy.

    Carlo_C: I used to get motivated all the time a few years back....probably cause i used to go to the movie theatre multiple times a week. I seem to get really inspired by most movies. And they had a theatre in my old town that had showings for $1.50. It was awesome.

    Dejawolf: Got the getting laid part down....now to work on the gym part. need to lose that 15 pounds i've put on over the last 2 years.
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